Daily digest: A major H.R. Giger retrospective in Berlin, NYC’s monuments are crumbling, and more

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Daily digest: A major H.R. Giger retrospective in Berlin, NYC’s monuments are crumbling, and more

Completed in 1908, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument above Riverside Park on West 89th Street honors the Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War. However, the soaring structure has been closed to the public since 2017 and needs $36 million in repairs. (Historic scan by the New York Public Library)

Good afternoon and welcome back to the last daily digest roundup of 2021. That’s right, with the AN offices closed tomorrow for New Year’s, we won’t see you again until 2022. Here’s to hoping that next year is a healthy, happy, and productive one.

Here’s what you need to know today:

A major H.R. Giger retrospective is running in Berlin through January

A dual exhibition is now on display at Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon through January 16, 2022, one that fans of nightmarish biomechanical art should be sure to catch if they can. For the HR Giger & Mire Lee exhibition, the contemporary art institution has paired the works of Swiss painter, sculptor, and film visionary H.R. Giger with a South Korean contemporary artist, Mire Lee.

The exhibition places skull-adorned furniture, sculptures, paintings, and writings from Giger, whose most famous work is the Xenomorph of Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien (though he also contributed a fair bit to the world of comics, movies, and design) alongside the similarly “fleshy” sculptures of Lee. Both artists more than dabble at the Freudian intersection of sexuality, the human body, and gore, and HR Giger & Mire Lee puts Giger’s (perhaps overexposed) work in a new context.

H/t to Designboom

Despite a pledge from Mayor de Blasio, New York’s monuments are crumbling

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is days away from the end of his second term, but a $10 million promise to rehab the city’s crumbling monuments has reportedly never appeared. The Times runs through the staggering list of monuments and public artworks in dire need of repair, from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park that has been fenced off since 2017, to Martin Puryear’s Pylons in Battery Park City (although only installed in 1995, waterfront installations decay at a much faster rate). It’s estimated that 650 of the city’s approximately 850 monuments and sculptures lack dedicated funding for their conservation, and the effort to direct conservators is scattered across a number of different city agencies.

H/t to New York Times

A master-planned community will spring up near Tesla’s Austin factory

A 500-residence master-planned community is on the boards for Austin, Texas, thanks to developer Brookfield Residential Properties. The Canadian company submitted plans to the city to build 300 new apartment units and 200 single-family homes in Easton Park, a planned community already on the rise around the new Tesla plant and headquarters.

H/t to The Real Deal

Plans to revive Michigan’s only HBCU as a design university are officially a go

AN first reported on the reopening of Detroit’s Lewis College of Business, the first and only historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Michigan in November—the school, which closed in 2013, was to reopen as the first HBCU in the country solely dedicated to design. Then, on December 28, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the process official, signing two bills that will allow the institution to reopen as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in 2022. The school, which opened in Indianapolis in 1928 before moving to Detroit in 1939, will also be the first-ever HCBU to close and then successfully reopen.

H/t the Detroit Metro Times

The University of Minnesota receives a grant to combat housing inequality

The University of Minnesota has reportedly received $615,000 via a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help dismantle housing discrimination. That money will go towards the school’s Mapping Prejudice project, which breaks down the connection between structural racism and public housing—especially important as residents were previously steered towards certain neighborhoods in the past, locking in decades of inequality to come.

H/t to Planetizen